Wheel of Fortune’s “Veterans Week” featured veterans from all branches of the military as contestants during the week of October 22 – 26, 2018. As part of this week-long salute to those who served, contestants competed to win once-in-a-lifetime vacations, new cars, and cash prizes by spinning the Wheel and solving hangman-style puzzles.
In total, contestants won nearly $300,000 in cash and prizes throughout “Veterans Week.” Some of the contestants included:
- Rob Roca of Mont Belvieu, Texas was a contestant on Monday, October 22, 2018. Rob is a Marine Corps veteran who served as a landing support specialist in Desert Storm. He says his proudest moment of his service was graduating boot camp. Rob now works as a realtor and is married with five children. He and his wife tune in to America’s Game® together every night. Rob began his journey to become a contestant by attending a Wheelmobile event in Houston. In the end, Rob won $48,460 in cash and prizes, including a trip to Hawaii and a Chevrolet Traverse!
- Mark Carpowich of San Diego, Calif. appeared on the show on Tuesday, October 23, 2018. Mark is a veteran of the Navy who served as an intelligence officer. He decided to enlist in the Navy to serve the country and see the world. Mark’s proudest moment was when he earned the military’s Humanitarian Service Medal for helping support recovery efforts following the Indonesian tsunami. Mark is now a public affairs writer for the Navy. He is a newlywed who enjoys running marathons and collecting vinyl records. Mark and his wife tune in to Wheel of Fortune every night. He says she “always lets [him] solve, even if she knows the puzzle first.” After all the practice playing along at home, Mark submitted a video and application through WheelofFortune.com in hopes of winning enough money to go on a honeymoon with his wife. That wish came true. Mark will get to take his wife on the honeymoon of their dreams after winning $59,909 in cash and prizes, including a trip to Fiji and a Chevrolet Traverse!
- John Ray of Little Rock, Ark. was a contestant on Tuesday, October 23, 2018. John is a “double veteran,” having served in both the U.S. Army for three years and the British Royal Air Force for four years. His proudest moment serving in the Army came when he received the Expert Infantryman Badge. John is now a pipeline safety coordinator who enjoys playing soccer and rugby in his free time. John applied to become a contestant on WheelofFortune.com, hoping to use the winnings for traveling around the country. John will get to do the traveling he hoped for after winning $14,200 in cash and prizes, including a trip to Jamaica!
- Nikki Wade of Mechanicsville, Va. solved her way to winning $66,403 in cash and prizes, including a trip to Aruba on Wednesday, October 24, 2018. Nikki is a Marine Corps veteran who worked in administration and as a general’s driver. She is now a stay-at-home mom who homeschools her two children. She is married to a retired Marine officer. Her husband currently works as a Department of Defense civilian employee and they will soon be moving to South Korea for three years. In her spare time, Nikki enjoys planning and decorating elaborate birthday parties and get-togethers. Nikki has been watching America’s Game® with her papa since she was a little girl. After being encouraged to audition by her papa, she finally decided to make her dream of becoming a contestant a reality by attending a Wheelmobile event in Glen Allen.
- Steve Earley of Palmer Lake, Colo. took his spin at the Wheel on Wednesday, October 24, 2018. Steve is an Air Force veteran who served for four years, working in intelligence. He joined the Air Force to continue his family’s tradition of military service. Steve is now married and runs six roller rinks for a living. He enjoys going to the movies and traveling. Steve has been watching America’s Game® since contestants shopped for prizes and continues to watch with his wife “religiously” every night. After decades of loyal viewing, Steve became a contestant by applying and submitting a video through WheelofFortune.com. Steve walked away with an all-cash total of $19,100!
- Emily Ruch of Warrenton, Va. competed on Thursday, October 25, 2018. Emily is an Air Force veteran who served for six years as an emergency management specialist. She was deployed to Qatar for six months during her service. Emily is now married with one child and works as a personal chef. Emily has been tuning in to America’s Game® her whole life, growing up watching with her mom and grandma. One night after pouring a glass of wine, Emily submitted a video and application to WheelofFortune.com in hopes of winning enough money to use for traveling and growing her personal chef business. Emily will get to do both after winning $18,280 in cash and prizes, including a trip to the Dominican Republic!
Wheel of Fortune is hosted by Pat Sajak and Vanna White. The duo also share a special connection to the military. Pat Sajak is a veteran himself, who served as a disc jockey during the Vietnam War. Vanna White’s now 93-year-old father served during the Korean War.
Find out where to watch Wheel of Fortune in your local area by visiting www.WheelofFortune.com.
About Wheel of Fortune:
Reaching more than 25 million weekly viewers, Wheel of Fortune reaches more viewers than any other program on television. Trademarked as America’s Game®, it has earned seven Emmy Awards including a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Game/Audience Participation Show. Wheel of Fortune is produced by Sony Pictures Television, a Sony Pictures Entertainment Company. It is distributed domestically by CBS Television Distribution and internationally by CBS Studios International, both units of CBS Corp.
Photo Credit: Carol Kaelson